Building rapport with your prospect is something that comes naturally to the best salespeople. By building rapport you will help to increase that sense of confidence in you and your product or service, which is one of the key elements in any sale.
Once built, maintaining a sense of confidence in the buyer is one of the most difficult things to do but there are several ways in which you can do this.
Before continuing here, you might find it helpful to recap our review of the 3 key elements in sales and why your salespeople may be failing:
4 Ways to Build & Maintain Confidence
1. Build Rapport
The nice thing about building rapport is that it is something, as human beings, we have been doing since we first began to learn social interaction. It is a social skill that everyone acquires to a level and it helps us to make others more comfortable and accept us as an individual.
To help improve this, you can take actively start to match and mirror the behaviour of others. On the whole, people like those who are similar to themselves and by matching and mirroring their behaviour you are giving non-verbal signals that you are on the same wavelength as them.
In addition, always show empathy and stay positive in your communication. Again, this will help you in the majority of scenarios but it won’t always go all the way to building rapport by itself.
2. Find and Show Commonalities
Finding commonalities is all about opening up your prospect so that they are comfortable enough to share information. The above shows some topics you can use for this purpose. A tip here is that you should follow these steps from A to E because it is easier for someone to talk about places than to open up about themselves.
An important aspect here is to always stay relevant – as a salesperson, you will need to make sure you understand your avatar and also research their business so that you understand how they will benefit from your product or service.
To learn more about your Avatar, have a read of our recent article on that topic.
3. Adjust Communication and Behavioural Styles
In the Shannon and Weaver model of communication, they detail a number of aspects of communication, which can all affect how we are perceived by another. This includes verbal, non-verbal and meta-communication.
What you say to your prospect is only part of the message they receive from you. What you are wearing, your body language, even where you suggested meeting can all be noise that affects how your message is received, so pay close attention to detail!
In addition to this you need to be aware of which channel of communication you are using to reach them; is it visual, auditory or kinaesthetic? Research has shown that nearly half of all people, on average, react and learn best from visual stimuli. Similarly, 40% will learn best from kinaesthetic stimuli, they need something physical to touch and feel. The remaining will be best at learning from auditory stimuli, so simply speaking to them is enough to appeal to them.
Make sure you have elements of all three in your sales process to get the best results.
4. Involve prospects in setting the agenda (the road to finding the solution)
Sales should be thought of as a process of educating your prospect and as such buying is a learning process. To achieve the most from both, we need to consider how people learn.
It has been proven that people learn best when they feel involved in the process and to help a prospect stay involved you should consistently ensure that the prospect knows where they are in the process and what will be happening next. If someone is coming for a meeting or scheduling a call, make sure they know why and the agenda of that call. Similarly, ensure they know what to expect at the end of it, so they feel it is worthwhile.
Equally important is inviting feedback along the way. Help them to feel in control, as much as possible, by asking what they are feeling or thinking after each step of your sales process.
I hope that you found this helpful and that it helps you to improve on your sales process and how you communicate with your prospects.
If you would like to discuss this or any other aspect of your sales and marketing with us, please feel free to get in touch, we would be more than happy to speak with you.